Ecuador

Ecuador

Ecuador: The Hidden Paradise Where A Couple Can Live Comfortably On $2,000 a Month or Less

Sell your winter clothes…and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime in the Land of Eternal Spring. Every cliché you’ve heard about living large on little…on even a retiree’s budget…is true in Ecuador.

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Fast Facts About Ecuador

Ecuador
  • Population: 15,439,429
  • Capital City: Quito
  • Climate: Tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands
  • Time Zone: GMT-5
  • Language: Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
  • Country Code: 593
  • Coastline: 2,237 km

Archives

Mexico

What Regrets Do I Have About Living Overseas?

We’ve been living overseas since 2001. We’ve lived in seven communities in four countries (and purchased property in a fifth). We’ve bought, renovated and sold two homes in Mexico and bought and renovated a condo in Ecuador, where we now live. We’ve tried out beach life, mountain life, and both big-city and small-town living. So we know something about the expat life…

salinas-fyl

Why We Couldn’t Retire in Ecuador

When Gary and Kathryn Kelly, both in their 50s, moved to Ecuador from Sargent, Texas, in 2011, they expected this would be where they spent their retirement years. They bought a house at Punta Carnero Beach, about 10 minutes’ drive from the popular Ecuador beach resort town of Salinas, and began refurbishing it.

Get into Emerging Markets This Year

If you want to increase your future returns while reducing your risk, you should add some emerging-market stocks to your portfolio. It may surprise you that adding riskier, emerging-market assets to a portfolio will reduce overall risk, but it shouldn’t. These markets do not move in lockstep with the U.S. market, which hit a series of all-time highs in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Discovering Ibarra—Ecuador’s “White City”

I had just polished off an al fresco meal at an Argentine steakhouse with my family, and was relaxing to the mingling sounds of several street musicians, when the bill arrived. Though I’ve been in Ecuador for some time, I still suffer from reverse sticker shock. A similar meal for four at a restaurant of the same caliber in the U.S. runs well over $100.

“There is No One-Size-Fits-All Country”

Dreams of leisurely roaming the cobblestone streets of mountain villages floated through our minds. The thought of listening to the surf from a comfy hammock with a fruity drink in hand wasn’t a bad vision either.

cuenca

An Added (Secret) Bonus of Living in Ecuador

There’s a lot to love about Ecuador—the amazing biodiversity; great weather; the low cost of living. And in the larger cities like Cuenca, where I live, the excellent medical care and cultural amenities are an added bonus. I’ve been kept up to date on the miserable winter in the States through Skype conversations with my two children. Right now I’m looking out the window at blue skies and am looking forward to yet another day with temperatures in the 70s.

highlands-ecuador

How Life Overseas Enriches You…

I visited San Miguel de Allende recently while working on a video project, and I had a chance to catch up with an old friend from when my wife, Suzan Haskins, and I lived there back in 2007 and 2008. It pleased me to find him doing well and to hear that his two children were growing into handsome, intelligent young adults. Part of the reason for that, he told me, were the chances they’d had to travel.

Properties with stunning water views can now be bought for less than $150,000 in places like Mexico, Costa Rica, and Ecuador.

Best Places to Own Premium Water Views for Less than $150,000

In Mexico, Ecuador and Costa Rica properties with stunning views can be bought for as little as $119,000, according to a new report by InternationalLiving.com. “A great view usually translates into a premium price tag. But if a buyer knows the right places to look, he can find properties with world-class vistas for much, much less than you’d expect,” reports InternationalLiving.com’s property correspondent, Margaret Summerfield.

cuenca2

Enjoy the Perks of Earning in Ecuador

My best friend from high school saves $84 a month because I live and work in Ecuador. My sister slashed her dental bills. And I recently discovered a way for family members to double the value of their cell phones…

Ecuador

The Importance of a “Dream Retirement Overseas” Shortlist

We’ve already lived in seven communities in four different countries. We’ve had some time to honestly assess ourselves and what we need to live somewhere for more than just a month or two a year. By now we have some pretty clear criteria for what we really need a location to provide.

Ecuador

Who Will You Be Friends with Overseas?

The couple to my left, in their mid-70s, was a “good-ol’-boy” Texan and his pretty, soft-spoken wife. Both were raised as the children of sharecroppers. Across from them, the octogenarian of the group was a nuclear submarine engineer in his native Canada. And at the end of the table sat a former automotive repair-shop manager from California and his accountant wife.

salinas

“A Low Cost of Living, Perfect Weather and Other Reasons Why We Moved to Salinas, Ecuador”

When Jo realized I was serious and that our move was a matter of weeks away, she said something I heard more than once before leaving the U.S: “I could never do something like that!” Of course, people have different reasons for thinking that way. And I’ll grant you, our move to Ecuador wasn’t what’s called “normal.” At 55 and 62 years of age we were supposed to be settling into a routine, shopping for rocking chairs…

banos-ecuador

Make Room for an Overseas Adventure

We sold the house and had to decide what to do with all that stuff. So we took inventory—stuff we wanted to keep on one side of the ledger, stuff for the garage sale on the other. The idea was to get rid of all the things we didn’t need and keep all the things that we thought gave our life meaning and stability…the stuff we absolutely couldn’t live without.

Nick

Save Thousands of Dollars by Decoding These Tax Terms (We’ll Show You How)

As a wise man once said, “Forewarned is forearmed”…and that’s never truer than when it comes to taxes. Informing yourself of all the IRS regulations is a sensible idea—and could save you thousands of dollars. While it’s important for every American citizen to understand the phraseology of the regulations, if you’re thinking of living, working, or investing abroad, it’s even more important.

ecuador

This is Why People are Moving to Ecuador

I can’t give you one good reason why Americans and Canadians are coming in droves to Ecuador…because there are dozens of very good reasons. There are so many that I can’t list them all here…but based on a recent trip there, I can tell you what some of the best reasons to live in Ecuador are.

santa-maranita-ecuador

If You Never Want to Meet an Expat in Ecuador…

In our years abroad, my wife, Suzan, and I have met expats who told us clearly that it was their intention to live someplace where they never saw another expat again. Although I admire the spirit and determination of this kind of total immersion, I can’t help but recall what an expat in the real estate trade in Mexico told us many years ago.

salinas2

A Taste of Home on Ecuador’s Pacific Coast

When Gary and Kathryn Kelly, both in their 50s, moved to Ecuador from Sargent, Texas, in 2011, they expected this would be where they spent their retirement years. In Texas, Gary had owned a property tax management company and Kathryn worked as his executive assistant. In Ecuador, they hoped to laze away the days on the beach in front of their home…

cancun-mexico

Find Your Ideal Franchise through a Matchmaker

If you are interested in buying into a franchise business but have no idea where to begin, you might start with a franchising broker, who can help match you with a suitable business. MatchPoint is a franchise broker an international network of franchise consultants operating in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

quito-street

How One Desk Jockey Took Her Skill on the Road

When I quit my job to travel the world for a year‚ the last thing I wanted to do was work. Well, at least not in the capacity that I used to as an editor in Manhattan. In fact‚ part of the reason I left the country was to take a break from the New York corporate rat race.

Ecuador

Properties with Premium Views for Less than $150,000

This west-coast destination in Mexico hit the headlines in 1963. John Huston filmed part of Night of the Iguana in Vallarta. The world’s press descended on the town to follow the romance between Richard Burton, a star in the movie, and Elizabeth Taylor. Many viewers simply wanted the real skinny on the famous Hollywood stars. But others were grabbed by Vallarta’s colonial architecture and sun-drenched beaches. Tourists and expats started to flock to this little fishing village. Today, around 50,000 North Americans live in Vallarta…

cuenca3

How to Get By with a Little Help from Your Friends in Ecuador…

I recently watched the Grammy salute to the Beatles commemorating their performance on the Ed Sullivan show 50 years ago. Yes, I was among the 73 million households glued to the TV set on that historic night. A song that Paul and Ringo performed on the show, “A Little Help from My Friends,” got me thinking about how getting things done where I live in Cuenca, Ecuador is so much easier when you are open to the assistance of others.

Ecuador

“I’m Proof That You Can Have It All in Ecuador”

A couple of years have passed since I made my way from northern Idaho to middle-of-the-earth Ecuador, but thanks to modern technology I’m able to keep up on the news and happenings from my friends back home. Recently though, it’s begun to feel as though I’m farther removed from them than by the space of a single continent.

Ecuador

This Ecuadorian “Eco-Valley” Won’t Stay Undiscovered for Long…

This thick cover acts as one of the few remaining intact habitats for elusive pumas, jaguars, and other smaller felines. The endangered spectacled bear also calls the Intag home along with hundreds of varieties of exotic birds. As the condor flies, this cloud forest valley is not far from the market town of Otavalo. In fact, it’s only 35 miles away by road. But for years now that one-and-only road has been a narrow, mountain-hugging dirt track accessible only from the towns of Otavalo or Cotacachi.

Ecuador

The Easiest Way to Plan a Trip to Ecuador

Just this month, I took an editorial trip to Ecuador to scout out what opportunities it offers to you today. I’m happy to report that it still has everything that you could look for in retirement and more—beautiful, temperate weather in the highlands and hotter weather toward the coast; warm, friendly people (expats and locals […]

vilca-ecuador

Five Things to Do Before You Move to Ecuador

It’s great to have step-by-step guides, especially for big and potentially complicated tasks. Moving yourself out of your home country to a completely new and different culture…and language…certainly qualifies as a big and complicated task. It involves many more steps than just five, but considering only the preparatory phase—the phase before the actual move—here are five essential steps to take before you move to Ecuador.

malacatos-ecuador

Why I Have No Intention of Retiring

Although my wife, Suzan Haskins, and I write a lot about retiring overseas, we’re not officially retired. We write for a living, and even after we do reach official retirement age, I’d be very surprised if we didn’t continue our work writing, editing, and traveling. We know more and more folks in the same situation. They have no intention of retiring in the traditional sense and will probably work at something well past any official retirement marker or milestone they may pass.

vilcabamba4

The Never-Ending Storyline of a Better Life Abroad

I’m very lucky to be doing what I’m doing. I’m even luckier to be doing it from where I’m doing it, which right now is Ecuador. I’m a writer, and I trained a long time to do this, although not really on purpose. And I never thought it would lead me overseas. My undergraduate training was in journalism. Just the facts, ma’am. Who, what, when, where, how, and why…and maybe a job at the local newspaper. (Remember newspapers?)

vilcabamba-chapel

Find the Perfect Place to Live…and Put Some Money in Your Pocket

Figuring out how to make some extra money doing something you love is a wonderful thing. And many of my fellow expats are doing exactly that. If you’re looking for inspiration, I’d like to share some of those stories with you. In fact, we know of so many such stories that my husband Dan and I devoted an entire chapter of a new book we’ve written to this exact topic. (More about that in a moment.)

pan-beach

Life Lessons from 12+ Years’ Experience Living Overseas

As we approach our lucky 13th year of living overseas, my husband, Dan Prescher, and I are fortunate to have shared so many wonderful, memorable experiences in so many far-flung corners of the world—from Southeast Asia to Europe, and nearly every country of Latin America. We’ve lived in Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, and Ecuador… In fact, we’ve lived in more than one destination in some of those countries. We’ve learned to speak Spanish, we’ve bought and sold property…

TheUndiscovered

The Undiscovered Intag Valley: Ecuador’s Hidden Eden

Tucked into the western slopes of the Andes, 40 miles north of the capital Quito, the Intag Valley possesses that rare kind of climate in which nearly any plant will thrive. Farmers haul in harvests of everything from papayas and passion fruit to carrots and corn. Surrounding their scattered tracts of farmland is a dense jungle of towering palms, broad-leafed ferns and twisting vines. You’ll find more species of orchids than you can count, and a huge variety of bromeliads.

LatinAmerican

Latin American Mountain Homes from $138,000

For many, Latin America conjures up images of steamy, wildlife-filled jungles and beautiful people lounging on tropical beaches, sipping umbrella-bedecked drinks. But there’s a whole other side to Latin America…regions where temperate—even cool—climates and jaw-dropping vistas of snow-covered volcanos are the order of the day.

The Ties that Bind: The Grandchild Question

I remember the day I told my neighbor Jo Alice that my wife Ann and I were selling our beautiful waterfront home in Maryland and moving to the beach town of Salinas on the Pacific coast of Ecuador. Jo Alice thought I was joking. I wasn’t. Why would I? In Ecuador our cost of living is $1,200 a month, the weather is perfect, and our condo has sweeping ocean views.

cuenca4

What Do Retirees Overseas Do All Day?

But nature abhors a vacuum, and I know of no one here simply staring out the window wondering how to spend their time. During four years of living in Cuenca I have been amazed to observe the many creative outlets foreign residents dream up to be active and productive. Free from the yoke of employment (although many expat-run businesses have sprung up) folks are starting foundations and volunteering, learning Spanish and teaching English, tending animals and growing food, traveling in Ecuador and far beyond its borders.

cotacachi2

Moving to Ecuador Saved Chuck and Kathy’s Retirement

Most mornings Chuck and Kathy Baumgarten can be found leisurely sipping coffee and enjoying the sunrise from their porch. It’s easy to see why if you visit their home. They have one of the most scenic vistas in all of Ecuador. Mount Imbabura seems to rise from their backyard. A 180-degree turn showcases Mount Cotacachi’s golden-hour glow. All the while the market town of Otavalo is nestled beneath them in the valley below.

Quito

2014 Fast-Track Ecuador Package

2014 Fast-Track Ecuador Package
Quito, Ecuador – February 2014

Ecuador has it all: sophisticated historical cities, miles of unspoiled beaches, temperate mountain hideaways… perfect weather year-round… top-notch, low-cost medical care, low-cost health insurance… low-cost transportation (you won’t need a car)… overall, a very low cost of living.

vilcabamba2

The Best Days of Your Life Are the New Normal in Ecuador

The place was packed; festive and noisy with a funky, thumping rhythm adding to the party atmosphere. It was a mixed crowd—some retired gringos along with a younger North American group accounted for about 60% with the rest a mix of European travelers and locals. Everyone was having a great time. My wife Diane and I were fortunate to snag a table. At the very moment a group stood to leave, I moved quickly to claim the space.

Ecuador

“Enough is Enough—We’re Going to Ecuador”

“Who remembers the economic tsunami of 2008?” Edd Staton asked. “Well, that’s how we got here. Before 2008, we had great jobs and were pulling down good money. Our retirement account was growing steadily and we had big plans for our retirement…which we thought was a long ways off…”

Ecuador

We’re Getting Complaints About Ecuador…

Another conference, another 400+ people who know more about Ecuador and living overseas than they’d ever imagined. And again, after this latest Fast-Track Ecuador Conference, more than a few attendees have come up to me with dazed looks in their eyes to say that they’re simply overwhelmed by the amount of information and networking they’ve […]

ecuador

What’s Brought All These People to Ecuador?

I’m about to head down the PanAmerican Highway to Quito, Ecuador’s sprawling capital, to attend this year’s Fast Track Ecuador Conference, where I’ll spend the better part of a week with hundreds of people who traveled thousands of miles to see this country for themselves.

bahia-de-caraquez

The REAL Cost of a Good Life in Ecuador

For three days now, I’ve been telling you that in Ecuador, you can have it all…but at what price? What must you give up to make a good life here? International Living is, at times, accused of seeing the world through rose-colored glasses…of overlooking the bad and omitting the blemishes. If you’ve been here in Quito the past few days, I doubt you’d agree with that.

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